The Indian national selection committee on Monday, 15 April, announced the 15-man squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Ambati Rayudu was omitted from the squad while Vijay Shankar has found a place. Shankar may play at No 4 for India in the showpiece event. Selectors also opted for Ravindra Jadeja instead of going with a fourth pacer while Dinesh Karthik was picked over Rishabh Pant as the second choice wicket-keeper. KL Rahul also got a place in the Indian squad.
The World Cup will be a 10-team event this year. While hosts England automatically qualified for the tournament, West Indies and Afghanistan are the two sides who enter the event after finishing the top two teams in the World Cup Qualifier that took place in Zimbabwe in 2018.
The tournament kicks off on 30 May with hosts England taking on South Africa at The Oval, with Pakistan facing West Indies in the second game that takes place on the very next day at Trent Bridge. Two-time champions India commence their campaign on 5 June against South Africa at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.
There was a lot of hue and cry over the highly-anticipated India-Pakistan match on 16 June in Manchester, with the BCCI along with several former India cricketers calling for the match to be boycotted over the Pulwama attack in February. The Vinod Rai-led CoA had written to the ICC, asking them to boycott all nations that harbour terrorism (an indirect reference to Pakistan), which was turned down by the global body.
The match, as of now, will take place as per schedule, and will be the first time the two sides meet on English soil since the Champions Trophy 2017 final.
Here's the 15-member squad of India for the World Cup 2019:
Virat Kohli (capt.), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami.
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Shami, a world-class Test bowler, has been in his elements, taking 16 wickets for KXIP in 10 matches so far and played a big role in the last three games that the team has won.
CSK's Ruturaj Gaekwad scored his second straight half-century, making 72 off 53, to set up a six-wicket win over KKR.
Young Ruturaj Gaikwad (65 not out off 51 balls) showed his potential with a maiden fifty but skipper Dhoni wouldn't be wrong in thinking that it came too late in the day when the 'Yellow Brigade' is all but out of the play-off reckoning.